Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image
Scroll to top


No Comments

World Championships Preview: Sprints

World Championships Preview: Sprints

| On 07, Aug 2013

The next in our series of World Championships previews looks at the sprinting events and the 4×100 relays. Again, this was written by Kevin Sully with a few additions by Jesse Squire.

Men’s 100

Heats: August 10th, 12:15pm ET
Semifinals: August 11th, 11: 05am ET
Final: August 11th, 1:50pm ET

2011 World champion: Yohan Blake (Jamaica)
2012 Olympic champion: Usain Bolt (Jamaica)
2013 world leader: Bolt
2013 Diamond Race leader: Justin Gatlin (USA)

The favorites: This event went from must-see to a formality in a matter of days. Even with Yohan Blake’s injury looming, this looked to be the first time in years a healthy Tyson Gay and Usain Bolt matched up. With that off the table, Justin Gatlin appears to be the only serious contender to Bolt. Overshadowed in all the drug and injury news, Gatlin actually beat Bolt in June at the Rome Golden Gala meet. Since then, Gatlin has leveled off and Bolt has shown that he is rounding into form at just the right time.

The Americans: Charles Silmon and Mike Rodgers will join Gatlin on the team. Silman broke 10 seconds to qualify for the team in Des Moines and Rodgers is replacing Tyson Gay. It isn’t the strongest team the United States has sent, but the same can be said for their rivals around the world.
U.S. medal chances: Fair

The Canadians: Justyn Warner just missed qualifying to the Olympic final last year but he’s well off his form this year and is only running the relay. The trio of Sam Effah, Gavin Smellie and Aaron Brown are probably using the open 100 as preparation for the relay, where they have unfinished business (see below).
Canadian medal chances: Virtually zero

The Others: Behind Bolt, Nickel Ashmeade and Kemar Bailey-Cole and Nesta Carter will race for Jamaica. Also, keep your eye on the rapidly improving James Dasaolu of Great Britain and the 21-year-old Frenchman Jimmy Vicaut.

Bottom line: A weighted vest? A standing start? No spikes? Choose your handicap for Bolt.

Men’s 200

Heats: August 16th, 2: 35am ET
Semifinals: August 16th, 11: 40am ET
Final: August 17th, 12: 05pm ET

2011 World champion: Usain Bolt (Jamaica)
2012 Olympic champion: Bolt
2013 world leader: Bolt
2013 Diamond Race leader: Warren Weir (Jamaica)

The favorites: Provided he makes it to the starting line, Bolt should receive little resistance in the 200. He enters the meet with the world’s fastest time and his start will be much less of a liability in the longer race. Fellow Jamaican Warren Weir ran 19.79 the national championships and brings Olympic experience.

The Americans: Can the United States break up a Jamaican sweep? Last year in London Bolt, Yohan Blake and Weir shut out the Americans in resounding fashion. The American trio of Isiah Young, Curtis Mitchell and Wallace Spearmon is very similar to the group they sent last year (Spearmon and Young were on the team). What type of shape is Spearmon in after his late addition to the team? Jamaica will be without Blake, which will provide an opening.
U.S. medal chances: Fair

The Canadian: The lone entrant is Tremaine Harris, a fast-improving 21-year-old who ran on the 2012 Olympic team where he failed to advance from the heats.
Canadian medal chances: Virtually zero

The Others: Churandy Martina of the Netherlands has run 20.01 this year and the fastest man in a body suit, Christophe Lemaitre, will try for his second World Championship medal.

Bottom line: Bolt cruises, but race for the next two places is wide open.

Women’s 100

Heats: August 11th, 3:55am ET
Semifinals: August 12th, 11:35am ET
Final: August 12th, 1:50pm ET

2011 World champion: Carmelita Jeter (USA)
2012 Olympic champion: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jamaica)
2013 world leader: Kelly-Ann Baptiste (Trinidad and Tobago)
2013 Diamond Race leader: Fraser-Pryce

The favorites: Fraser-Pryce only finished fourth at the London Diamond League meet and yet she is still looked at as the woman to beat. She hasn’t run many 100s in 2013, opting instead to work on her strength in the 200. Nigerian Blessing Okagbare has emerged as a real threat, winning that London race in the year’s second-best time. Baptiste’s 10.83 is third in the world, but she doesn’t have another mark under 11 seconds. Jeter hasn’t been the same since her injury in April. American English Gardner is at the end of a long season that started in the winter with an indoor season for the University of Oregon.

The Americans: The United States has four entries, three of which have a legitimate chance to make the final. Octavious Freeman finished second to Gardner in 10.87 in Des Moines. Alexandria Anderson hasn’t fared well lately, but she also showed in Des Moines that she is capable of running the rounds very well.
U.S. medal chances: Good

The Others: Murielle Ahoure of the Ivory Coast and Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare have both run under 11 seconds and have be a consistent presence in the Diamond League this year. Jamaica is feeling the hurt from positive drug tests. With Veronica Campbell-Brown and Sherone Simpson out, Kerron Stewart is the only medal hope other than Fraser-Pryce.

Bottom line: A very deep field where all of the finalists will have a chance at a medal.

Women’s 200

Heats: August 15th, 2:55am ET
Semifinals: August 15th, 11:45am ET
Final: August 16th, 1:15pm ET

2011 World champion: Veronica Campbell-Brown (Jamaica)
2012 Olympic champion: Allyson Felix (USA)
2013 world leader: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jamaica)
2013 Diamond Race leader: Murielle Ahoure (Ivory Coast)

The favorites: What was expected to be a fairly predictable event at the beginning of the season has become rife with parity. The top eight marks of the year come from seven different women and Allyson Felix hasn’t been anywhere near the Allyson Felix of 2012. Last year’s Felix set an impossibly high bar and in 2013 she has race sparingly and modestly (by her standards) in the 200. It wouldn’t be a shock if she is just keeping her cards close to the vest and she came out on top in Moscow, but based on the season thus far a loss to Fraser-Pryce or Ahoure also wouldn’t be surprising.

The Americans: Kimberlyn Duncan ran a wind-aided 21.80 in Des Moines. Jeneba Tarmoh and Charonda Williams realistically could give the US four entrants in the final.
U.S. medal chances: Lock

The Canadians: Youngster Crystal Emmanuel was a semifinalist at the Olympics last year and she’s improved this year. Kimberly Hyacinthe, her training partner, has less international success on her record but is faster than Emmanuel this year and beat her at the Canadian Championships. Both could be considered outside shots to make the final.
Canadian medal chances: Virtually zero

The Others: Similar to the 100, Fraser-Pryce, Ahoure, Okagbare and Baptiste all figure to be in the mix. Also, don’t overlook 19-yead-old Anthonique Strachan of the Bahamas or 33-year-old Russian Anastasiya Kapachinskaya.

Bottom line: The time may not be historic, but the race will be competitive.

Men’s 4 x 100 relay

Heats: August 18th, 8:50am ET
Final: August 18th, 10:40am ET

2011 World champion: Jamaica
2012 Olympic champion: Jamaica
2013 world leader: USA

The favorites: The US and Jamaica are the usual headliners, but both are missing big names. This would be the year for a big upset, but I don’t see that happening as long as Bolt gets the baton.

The Americans: Down two key members of the last year’s silver medal team, the United States will have to rely on some newcomers and some old faces. Mike Rodgers will add need experience, but Charles Silmon or Dentarius Locke will have to run well for the Americans to have any chance at upsetting Jamaica.
U.S. medal chances: Good

The Canadians: One of the most heartwarming stories out of last year’s Olympics was ten-year-old Elijah Porter, an autistic boy from Newfoundland who sent the national relay team the only athletic award he’d ever won (a participation medal from a Tim Horton’s soccer league) after their apparent bronze medal finish and subsequent disqualification. As appreciative as the four young men were–they surprised him with a visit to his home–they’d rather have the real thing. They may or may not be in the same form as last year, as anchor Justyn Warner has only recently been running well, but if they can get into the final then they have a chance.
Canadian medal chances: Fair

The Others: France should have a good 1-2 punch with Jimmy Vicaut and Christophe Lemaitre. Trinidad and Tobago always fields a competitive quartet and Great Britain could put together a competitive team with Adam Gemili, James Dasaolu, Dwain Chambers and Delano Williams.

Bottom line: The most vulnerable Jamaica has been in a major championship since 2007, but will the United States have enough to capitalize? Is it too early to put money down for Great Britain in 2016?

Women’s 4 x 100 relay

Heats: August 18th, 8:15am ET
Final: August 15th, 10:10am ET

2011 World champion: USA
2012 Olympic champion: USA
2013 world leader: USA

The favorites: The United States doesn’t have their entire team back from last year’s world record, but they do have more than enough to win this race. Provided Jeter and Felix stay healthy, they should stay well clear of a depleted Jamaican squad.

The Americans: English Gardner, Allyson Felix, Octavious Freeman and Carmelita Jeter comprised the USA Red team in Monaco. That will most likely be their line-up in the final.
U.S. medal chances: Good

The Canadians: The women’s relay has less recent success than their men’s counterparts, last making a Worlds final in 1999. The quartet of Crystal Emmanuel, Kymberly Hyacinthe, Shai-Anne Davis and Khamica Bingham all broke PRs this year, so the future looks good.
Canadian medal chances: Virtually zero

The Others: The speed of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Kerron Stewart will give Jamaica some wiggle room. Ukraine has won bronze in 2011 and 2012.

Bottom line: No world record this time, but still a dominant performance for the United States.

Tomorrow: Pat Price previews the distance races.

Submit a Comment